Well, we didn't see this coming. Much like the other upcoming Yoshi game, the incredibly Yarn Yoshi (or as it really should be called, Yoshi's Epic Yarn) was announced in one of Nintendo's regular Nintendo Direct online broadcasts, their most recent show happened to lift the lid on another, and equally amazing looking game, in the form of Yoshi's Island.
A sequel that confusingly shares the same name as the original game, Yoshi's Island is the latest in a series of games that puts Mario's faithful, and often overlooked, dinosaur/dragon pal in the driver's seat. Rather than the portly plumber getting all the platforming glory, in Yoshi's Island, poor old Mario's only a defenceless baby - and it's up to you, playing as one of the legions of Yoshi(s?) to get him back to safety.
Sporting some rather pretty, pastel, water-colour graphics, the aim of each level is to escort Baby Mario safely from one end to the other - although with Mario being a baby, that's easier said than done. Should you take any damage, poor Baby Mario will fall off your back and start crying - and you've only got a limited number of time to get him back, before it's a game over. In order to get him through the level safely, you'll have to make use of all of Yoshi's special abilities, from his flutter jump, where he strains and wiggles his feet to get a bit more air on his leap, to his incredibly useful ability to swallow enemies, and lay them as eggs, which you can then use to pelt things - whether it's other bad guys, or switches you can't quite reach.
With a slightly more gentle pace than the other Mario platformers, and more of a puzzling element (you'll often have to roll things around the level, push little trampoline balls around to help reach higher places, or rebound your eggs off the walls to hit a switch or enemy), Yoshi's Island certainly has the potential to be a game for both beginners and veterans alike. While there's no release date yet in sight, we'll be hoping it finds its way onto shelves at some point this year.